Dairy Farming in Australia
By Austen Perich
Current issues related to Dairy Farming and the perspectives held by different interest parties
Some current issues related to dairy farming include:
- Access to water (especially in times of drought), the carbon emission and waste management of cows (a plan must be formulated to ensure the sustainable and continual process of dairy farms).
- Retail milk price (retail milk prices affect dairy farmer profits. Some dairy farmers cannot continue their dairy farming operation, due to expenditure costs being greater than profit amounts, as a result of low retail milk prices).
- Animal health and welfare (dairy farmers must ensure that all animals are treated properly, and abide by animal health and welfare laws. Many animal welfare groups criticise dairy farms for mistreating / culling animals inappropriately. Such groups include the RSPCA "Australian dairy cattle spend at least part of the day on green pasture. Nevertheless, there are welfare problems that may affect both cows and calves."
- Finding, training and retaining quality staff (there is currently a shortage of people willing to work on dairy farms. This affects the overall production of the dairy farm, and may result in loss of profit).
The role of individuals, groups and governments involved in the decision making processes related to dairy farming
Individuals: The dairy farmers themselves play a large role in the decision making processes related to dairy farming. The dairy farmers decide how to handle the cows, what feed they eat, how often they are milked, when they should be vaccinated,